LMU 15 – Green Tea Catechins: A Promising Strategy for Preventing and Managing Prostate Cancer
Source: Journal Cancer Research, 2006, and Journal Cancer Prevention and Research, 2009
Lifestyle Medicine Update (July 16, 2016)
Green tea has gained widespread recognition for its numerous health benefits, and recent scientific investigations have highlighted the potential role of green tea catechins (GTCs) in the prevention and management of prostate cancer. Groundbreaking studies have revealed that GTCs can stabilize and even reverse precancerous prostate lesions, known as high-grade intra-epithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), which often precede the development of prostate cancer.
Study 1: Preventing Prostate Cancer Progression
In 2006, a significant study published in the Journal of Cancer Research focused on 60 men diagnosed with HGPIN. These men were followed for a year, with half receiving a daily supplement of GTCs containing 600 mg (three capsules of 200 mg each), while the other half receiving a placebo. The results were remarkable, as only 3% of the men in the GTCs-treated group developed tumors, compared to a significantly higher incidence of 30% among the placebo group. Moreover, the GTCs-treated group exhibited consistently lower levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and improvements in symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia and lower urinary tract issues.
Study 2: Impact on Established Prostate Cancer
In 2009, a follow-up study published in the Journal of Cancer Prevention Research looked at the effects of GTCs in men with localized prostate cancer who were awaiting surgical treatment (radical prostatectomy). Twenty-six men with positive prostate biopsies were given a daily supplement containing 800 mg of GTCs until the day of surgery. The results showed a decrease in various prostate cancer biomarkers, including PSA, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), and its binding proteins (IGFBP-3).
Mechanism of Action
The proposed mechanism of action for GTCs in prostate cancer involves inhibiting the HGF/c-Met signalling pathway, which plays a crucial role in cancer progression and metastasis. C-Met receptors are often over-expressed in prostate tumors, and high levels of HGF are associated with metastatic disease and reduced survival rates. GTCs have demonstrated the ability to block the production of HGF and VEGF in prostate cancer-associated fibroblast cell lines, providing further evidence of their potential in managing prostate cancer.
The Promise of Green Tea Catechins as Adjuvant Therapy
Based on these compelling findings, green tea catechins show great promise as adjuvant therapy in men with prostate cancer. The data suggest that GTCs may contribute to lowering cytokine levels, such as HGF and VEGF, which are known to drive prostate cancer progression. For those interested in supporting prostate health, consuming 3-5 cups of green tea daily or supplementing with green tea catechins (approximately 200-600 mg daily) could benefit their routine.
Conclusion: Embracing Green Tea Catechins for Prostate Health
The research on green tea catechins and their impact on prostate health continues to provide encouraging results. Incorporating green tea into daily habits or considering GTCs supplementation could be a valuable step toward maintaining prostate health and reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
- Bettuzzi S., Brausi M., Rizzi F., et al. Chemoprevention of Human Prostate Cancer by Oral Administration of Green Tea Catechins in Volunteers with High-Grade Prostate Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Preliminary Report from a One-Year Proof-of-Principle Study. Cancer Res., January 15, 2006, 66; 123.
- McLarty J., Bigelow R., Smith M., et al. Tea Polyphenols Decrease Serum Levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen, Hepatocyte Growth Factor, and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Prostate Cancer Patients and Inhibit the Production of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor In vitro. Cancer Prev. Res. July 2009, 2; 673.
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.